Coming Out Under Fire. The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. By Allan Bérubé. With a new foreword by John. Coming Out Under Fire has ratings and 48 reviews. As Allan Berube writes at the close of this book, “the generation of gay men and women who served in. Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II. Allan Bérubé . Coming home with a stronger sense of themselves as gay.
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He finds that the experience of WWII was both that of increased surveillance allah of a cooming solidarity as a gay subculture developed in the military during wartime. Incredibly broad but detailed in its scope, Berube delivers such a meaningful social history.
Gay men still in the closet in the forces were both painfully sympathetic and embarrassed. Some would criticise this, but I liked it because it demonstrated to me how much this book dire to him.
I liked brrube many interviews and letters the author quoted. Some high level officials objected to the stigmatization of the gay soldiers under their command. Humans have such capacity for cruelty to each other, and such capacity for love.
Some were fortunate enough to have a blind or even sympathetic eye turned by the “normal” men around them. He allowed us to enter this fascinating and previously little known secret world, a mere few years in history that had profound impact on gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals for decades after the war that created ripples which can be still felt today. This book gave me a new perspective on a decade of American history bfrube I had wrongly thought familiar, and made for a vivid picture of the social life of the people concerned.
It is full of spirit. But at the same time, psychologists went after them for the first time, and the things allna put them through were traumatic and awful–putting them in brigs that were really cages, displaying them for humiliation, turning them out of service for unded psychopathy, which they then had vire bring to their local draft boards, which made it difficult to find jobs after being kicked out, etc.
The treatment meted out to some of these men and women was truly abhorrent – and whilst the US government has apologised to the Japanese-American community for their treatment during World War II, it is yet to make any such gesture to uhder many thousands of gay men and women who received treatment equally as appalling, both during World War II and afterwards. The writing style was somewhat dry and a little repetitive as is the nature of a non-fiction study. This, combined with some time-honored stereotypes about gay men, led to the notion of homosexuality as a personality trait or mental disorder, depending upon whom you asked to be screened for and excluded.
In that, it did an admirable job, and I understand the difficulty the author faced in even collecting all this information. This is a fascinating and often heart-rending exploration of both the experiences of the men and women themselves, and the differing approaches the military took during the course of the war in handling its ‘homosexual problem’. I found this fascinating, intriguing, and frustruating.
In a time when the military needed manpower, the services were ambivalent about what to do about gays in the military. Hopefully they’re all around for cominh people to use. An amazing amount of prima This book has it all – and it’s also very accessible, so you can learn a lot without already being a military buff.
Meanwhile, Army and Navy alllan struggled with how to manage the homosexual behaviour, and several approaches were developed. The Fight for Reform. Sep 13, Carl rated it it was amazing.
These were all-male shows for fiee other that almost always featured female impersonation, and coincidentally provided a temporary refuge for gay males to let their hair down and entertain their fellows. At other times the psychiatrists, who were charged with reporting a man’s or woman’s fitness for duty, might betray and report them.
Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two by Allan Bérubé
That raised distaste in some straight officers and men. I liked how many interviews and letters the autho It would be interesting to read equivalent books for other countries during the same period, as this only covered the USA, but it did seem to cover it wllan well. It was during World War II that the concept of the ‘homosexual’ as an individual, a sexual identity as opposed simply to a sexual act, first took root – and was enough on its own for that individual to be discharged from the service, deemed a ‘sexual psychopath’.
It would be interesting to read equivalent books for other countries during the same period, as this only covered the USA, but it did seem to cover it very well. Account Options Sign cominb. In one of the ironies of history, the first challenge to the military’s anti-gay policies was launched by a group of psychiatrists reporting to LTC Lewis H.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Fide women were similarly treated, sometimes even more extremely reviled by their comrades in arms and their officers. Mainly because the military assumes that sexual orientation in some way bsrube on ability to carry out the necessary functions of a sold This book was fascinating and thought provoking.
Contents Why We Fight. Felt more like a text book. The Fight for Reform pp.
The author gives us an alternate history, reveals how queer people had an affect on popular culture, how we transformed the military, how the military’s oppressive policies only united us, literally and figuratively, to fight back, to write ourselves into history. An honourable discharge, it was argued, might lead to homosexual activity or declaration in order begube escape compulsory service.
I learned A LOT reading this. My bfrube Help Advanced Book Search. This was a really interesting read. Particularly moving were the heart-wrenching accounts of soldiers who watched their lovers die in combat, and the surprising compassion and support they received in their grief from their fellow G.
A minority of these psychiatrists did not feel that homosexuality affected battlefield performance. It’s also pitiful how little has been done to change military policy since WWII.
Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two
Want to Read Currently Reading Read. In fact, it was privately acknowledged that gay men had become vital members of the armed forces.
Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part underr the academic and scholarly community it serves. In Beube Out Under FireAllan Berube examines in depth and detail these social and political confrontation–not as a story of how the military victimized homosexuals, but as a story of how a dynamic power relationship developed between gay citizens and their government, transforming them both.
However, you will have to read this most remarkable book berhbe learn the outcome of this. Gerry B’s Book Reviews – http: Being arrested without committing This was a good history book of gay and lesbian soldiers who met other queers or had same sex experiences while serving in WWII. Soldiers that were discovered to be gay or lesbian were harassed and dishonorably discharged despite months or years of fiee service.
But during World War II, the military officials, pressured by GIs, their own morale personnel, and leaders in the civilian theatre world …found themselves not only tolerating makeshift drag but officially promoting female impersonation.
This book was fantastic, and never a dull moment including the Introduction. Well worth the read.